The Dallas Cowboys are breathing easier with Tyron Smith.
According to ESPN.com’s Todd Archer, the right high-ankle sprain the Cowboys’ Pro Bowl left tackle suffered Sunday “does not appear as severe as initially was thought,” and he seems more day-to-day than week-to-week.
“While it is a high right ankle sprain, it does not appear as severe as initially was thought after the loss to the New Orleans Saints, according to a source. While his availability for this week’s game against the Green Bay Packers is not yet known, it does not appear to be a major sprain of the ligament that could keep him out for a long period of time,” Archer wrote.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport echoed Archer, adding that Smith will be out for the upcoming home contest against Green Bay.
Smith was injured on the Cowboys’ final drive when quarterback Dak Prescott landed on Smith’s ankle while being sacked. Reporters milling around the post-game scene spotted him in a walking boot in the locker room, and he was reported to be in considerable pain, at one point needing a cart for assistance.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones broke the news of Smith’s diagnosis after the game, a 12-10 loss, the team’s first of the season.
For however long Smith is sidelined — let’s assume for Week 5 — the Cowboys will turn to one of only two backup tackles on the 53-man roster, sixth-year pro Cameron Fleming, who started three games in Smith’s stead last season.
A 2014 fourth-round pick of the New England Patriots, Fleming is experienced and dependable, enough to hold the fort until Smith is healthy. He’s not the world’s best tackle, but you could do a lot worse than the man whom Dallas re-signed to a two-year, $7.5 million contract this offseason, after coming over from New England in 2018.
It’s possible, too, the Cowboys elevate offensive line coach Marc Colombo’s pet project, decorated undrafted rookie (there is such a thing) Mitch Hyatt, from the practice squad to the active roster as insurance behind Fleming and RT La’el Collins and backup Brandon Knight.
The Cowboys will return to the practice field Wednesday to begin full-scale preparations for the Packers.
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Serious Injury Feared for Frazier
Archer also reported Monday that Dallas is concerned about backup safety Kavon Frazier, who may have sustained a torn pec muscle against the Saints, an injury that could require surgery, although it’s too soon to tell.
If Frazier went under the knife, he’d almost certainly miss the remainder of the year, thrusting Darian Thompson and Donovan Wilson into larger roles behind Xavier Woods and Jeff Heath. Losing Frazier would not only hurt the defense, it’d be a big blow to the special teams, where he’s made his bones.
DeMarcus Lawrence Injured, As Well
This one doesn’t appear to be as significant. “Appear to be,” being the key words, as Lawrence injured his non-surgically-repaired shoulder and was noticeably absent from action late in the game.
Garrett said Sunday night the malady isn’t serious and Cowboys VP Stephen Jones re-affirmed Monday “hopefully that’s not going to be an issue.”
Dallas is already without starting defensive tackle Antwaun Woods, who has a knee injury, and defensive end Tyrone Crawford, who’s plagued by hip bursitis.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL